How To Start Up A Tack Shop???
Okay, so I live in a very horse friendly quad-city area that just keeps growing. The city that I currently live in doesn't have any tack shops & it's a pretty big city. There's 3 Olsen's Grains (feed store that has a little bit of tack) in the citys around me, 2 other tack stores/feed stores in the Prescott area & 2 in Chino. I live in Prescott Valley & we have quite a few ranches & big name barns out here. So I want to start up a tack store & western boutique. Doing a little bit of clothing & home decor along with new & consignment/used tack. Do you guys know where I could even start to do this? Or a way to help me figure out the initial investment? Any help would be awesome. Thanks!
You need to do a feasibility study. There are so many aspects you need to investigate before you can talk to the bank as you do need a line of credit. Google "starting a small business" or similar terms and you may get the info you need.
Starting a tack shop is not easy. Most people are getting there stuff online now or at events as it just way to much to guy it at a tack shop. You also have to think about what the public would want, english, western, show...etc. Its not easy. Also if you have a lot of tack shops around you are fighting with them fr business. I think over the years we have had 4 tack shops close down.
Saddlebag gave you excellent advice. With the popularity of the internet and online tack shops nowadays, it's hard for a brick and mortar store to be competitive.
You need to find out what people in your area actually want/need, and you'll have to be competitive with your prices, otherwise they'll just find what they want in your store and go buy it online for less.
There is ONE tack shop here in the Lynchburg area that has managed to stay afloat, but it hasn't been easy for them. They sell a lot more than tack and are also a Purina feeds dealer, so they're being used as a feed store for a lot of people. They are also very accommodating when it comes to ordering something you want but they don't have.
You're going to need a 'hook', be it selling feed or becoming a dealer for a particular tack brand. Even then, the SBA states that seven out of ten new businesses only last two years, while 51% will only remain open for five years.
Do you have the financial, mental, and physical health to push on in the midst of setbacks? Money, location, physical and mental stamina, management skills, a passion for the work, and the ability to plan ahead are all necessary things in order to even attempt to succeed at being your own employer.
How much cash do you have? I would think you would need a minimum of 50K plus be able to secure a bank line of credit. See if you have a small business type programs through Score or a local college. Look up how to do a business plan and do one. You will learn alot just from that. I started my business at 24 but I learned alot from working at other places that really helped me such as payroll, tax, expense info, advertising,marketing, selling, customer service. I could go on and on that are very important to know before jumping in. My first business I opened on a shoe string 26 years ago with a couple of thousand dollars. I also sold my horse trailer to keep it funded. I moved from my apartment to my shop to cut expenses. My second business I invested over 150K and did well until I expanded and then lost alot of money, sold property, my new LQ horse trailer to fund it. I closed that business 5 years ago and getting back on my feet and consentrating on the 1st business again.
DoubleK, how long have you been in the area? Up until two years ago, we had two tack shops in Chino, but one closed down because there wasn't enough business. Right now in the quad-city area, we have Four Shoes (in Chino), Cowboy Corner (Prescott), Savoini's (Prescott), CAL Ranch (Prescott), and Olsen's (Prescott, Chino and Dewey). Four Shoes and Cowboy Corner are solely tack/consignment stores. Savoini's does tack and western clothing, as does CAL Ranch.
Honestly, I don't think there's a need for another tack shop in the area. I frequent Cowboy Corner and Four Shoes, and both the owners complain about how slow business is.
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Yeah. I forgot about most of the places that are around here because I only go to four shoes & cowboy corner. J & D's is going to be opening up again this year, I believe. But, I talked to Patti about letting me display some of my painted tack in her shop to try to bring more business & interest in it around here. So hopefully that will work & I can focus more on painting & getting that into a legitimate business.
Thanks for all the help though!
I love Patti and Doug. Patti knows me by name (bought my saddle from her) and always asks me about Aires. Doug is just awesome. I need to get in touch with him to see how much it would be to make replacement leathers for my Aussie saddle as mine are too long and can't be shortened anymore.
Can't say that I'm excited that J&D's is reopening. The last time I went in there, I was looking for a saddle for my hard-to-fit Arab gelding. I knew what size tree he needed and why...and the lady argued with me for twenty minutes that I was wrong. Just really put me off her. Also, they sold my best friend her Circle Y Park and Trail saddle as semi-QH bars and it was actually FQHB. She couldn't figure out why it didn't fit the way it was supposed to until she went to sell it and one of the people interested happened to search the serial number. Needless to say, my friend was less than pleased.
What I wish we had was a shop that offered a better selection of English tack. Savoini's selection sucks and nowhere else carries any at all, unless Patti or Doug get a bridle or saddle in on consignment, which is rare.
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I think your best bet is getting your painted tack into tack stores that are already there and I would try selling at shows and other equine events. Set up tables and sell your products. I know someone who started up a tack shop and the initial investment was just over $60 000. She isn't in business anymore, and still paying it back.
Try feed stores, too. Around here, you'll find more horse folk traffic in the feed store than in a tack shop.
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